Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/153

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University of Bombay.

so long on science as an instrument of culture, you would not Value of literary training. readily forgive me if I enlarged still further on the special advantages of a literary training. The subject is an interesting one, and there are, as I think, many misconceptions about it which it would be worth while to investigate. I may perhaps find some occasion for laying my views on this topic before the University, but let it suffice for the present to point out with what admirable precision literature is taught; that its contents are the best products of the most gifted minds; that it is everywhere concerned with the acts and the emotions that are distinctively human; that it has largely formed the character of the society we have to join; and that of necessity it is greatly supplemented by the experience of ordinary life. Here, surely, are the elements of a training which, mixed with active exercise in what is acquired, goes to form a real education, one in which high faculties are trained to high perfection, and the heart is enriched as well as the head. But literature is more than this. Some of you remember Macaulay's touching lines after his defeat at Edinburgh. The Queen of learning and meditation visits her votary in a dream and tells him of all she will bestow which no envy of fortune and no folly of the crowd can take away. She was the comforter of Bacon in disgrace, of Clarendon in sickness, of Raleigh in his lonely cell. She

"liglited Milton's darkness with the blaze

"Of the bright ranks that guard the eternal throne."

To you if you will be her disciples, she will be as to him, a helpful friend, a faithful mistress, and a bounteous queen. Be not, however, like that would-be Christian of the early time who would not put away his wealth for his convictions. Our blessings have their price, and learning sheds her choicest boons only on him who offers the purest sacrifice. Sordid arts and the astuteness of low practice will in most cases serve your worldly purposes better; but seeking fortune in this fashion you make learning a mean drudge instead of an honoured companion, and her divinity perishes in a servile air. Reject base ways, and in good fortune or in bad she will pour treasures of joy or consolation into your lap. You may then truly—

"With an unforced smile,

"See riches, baubles, flatterers pass away."

And having made your mastery of your calling secure beyond cavil, you may enjoy your slender gains in a companionship and with a spirit which any Croesus might envy. Take your love for literature with you through life. There will be dark hours when you will need it, and, fortune favouring, there will be bright ones to which it alone can give the chastened lustre of dignity of